Thursday, April 11, 2013

Signs the Housing Recovery Has Moved Into Your Neighborhood

There are a number of signs just outside your front door that can tell you whether your own neighborhood is experiencing a recovery. Housing is local, after all, and just because some parts of California are experiencing a housing frenzy doesn’t mean people living on the opposite coast are. Here are seven signs that can tell you whether your neighborhood is being nursed back to housing health. Full Article 

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Home Selling Process

Choose a listing agent: This is a no brainier, of course you are going to use MySecretAgent. The listing process is easy and effective. You will save thousands while getting the same exposure as a traditional agent. Call us to see how much you can save. 

Get Your home Ready To Sell: Prepare your home for sale by cleaning, decluttering and improving curb appeal. Remember, you only have one time to make a great first impression. Here are more tips on getting your home ready to sell. 

Pricing Your home: Pricing your home to sell is the most important step in a successful sale. Here are a few tips in setting up a listing price. 

Market Your Home: Put together your marketing campaign of how you are going to describe your home and what websites you are going to advertise on. With my MySecretAgent we feature your listing  on hundreds of websites including national sites such as Trulia and Zillow. 

Show Your Home: Make it easy to show your home and use a lockbox. This way agents are more inclined to show your home as they can do it on their buyer's schedule.

Review Purchase Offers/ Negotiate:  Look over the offer and contingencies. If the buyer's low balled you then don't be afraid to counter offer with the full listing price, if you are priced competitively. If you are priced right, prepare yourself for multiple offers.  

Open Title/ Escrow: Although it is suggested to open preliminary title before listing your home you can open title and escrow after mutually accepting a sales agreement. At this time make sure the earnest money is deposited and ask for a receipt for your records. 

Appraiser: Before the appraiser comes by clean the house. The first impression of a clean and tidy home will make the appraiser feel the home is worth the value of the sales price.  

Inspection: Ask the buyer's agent for a copy of the inspector's checklist. So you will know what items the inspector will want to see. 

Close the Deal: Remember to bring your ID to sign closing documents. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Checklist on Preparing Your Home For Sale

Use the following checklist as your guide to preparing your home for sale.

Start thinking like a Home Shopper: Take a look at homes for sale in your community (or where you would really like to live) using the Internet, and carefully take the time to look at the photos. Compare one house to another and consider which one you would buy, if you were buying. Maybe you should see what apps home shoppers are using right now, click here.

Put together a list of projects: Project lists are never final but you should be able to list ten things that need changing, finishing, or well cleaned.

The Big Purge: You are not alone in you accumulation of “stuff”, but Home Shoppers don’t want to see the stuff that you haven’t used in the past six months. Box it up, sell it on Craig’s List, rent a storage space or donate it to charity – but let it go.

Walls and Carpets: Painting may be a priority because 99% of your target market isn’t going to like that tangerine living room or royal blue kitchen. Don’t go with the school of painting everything white… pick up a catalog or magazine and examine how those rooms are painted for current color ideas, and call a professional painter. Wall to wall carpets need to be professionally cleaned or replaced after painting has been done.

Update your light fixtures: After you have done this project, you might kick yourself for not doing it a long time ago. Entry foyers, walk-in closets, hallways, bathrooms should all be considered. More on this topic…

Clean Hardwood Floors: Some hardwood floors may need professional attention, but you should start with cleaning/restoring conditioner found at Lowes or Home Depot.

Go to the Bathroom: Okay, take a look at your bathrooms. These need to be spotless (free of your stuff) and ultimately look like a mini spa with fresh towels etc. Consider new faucets, shower heads, toilet seats and light fixtures.

Focus on your Kitchen: You can’t go wrong improving your kitchen and sometimes a remodel is the only option, but start with an examination of your existing appliances, clean out the fridge (sorry, no old Chinese food containers), and eliminate items on the counters and in the cabinets.

Light Bulbs: Having the proper bulb in a fixture is essential, so you need to see what is working and replace with the appropriate bulb. Please know that recessed light fixtures need recessed light bulbs called indoor flood lights(no traditional 60 watters or CFL’s).

Plan for Curb Appeal: You will need to adjust for the season, but remember that first impressions are made quickly and if there are old newspapers in the driveway, pumpkins in February,  or signs that state “No Trespassin’” then know that you have one strike against you. Full Article

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

How to Price Your Home to Sell

Pricing your home to sell is the most important step in a successful sale. Here are a few tips in setting up a listing price. 

Study past sales: This is the starting point for any thoughtful and successful pricing strategy; think of it as the "science" part. Take the time to study past sale statistics for homes in your area and areas similar to yours. None will be identical, of course, but having a clear understanding of true market value is the first step in establishing your list price.

Do not confuse active listings with past sales: Active listings have not sold. They are just your competition. It is important to be aware of your competition's pricing, but this is often just an indication of what your home won't sell for.

Do not overprice because you have "time." If the market is appreciating, this strategy may work, but if prices in your area are declining, you may quickly find yourself chasing a market and costing yourself money. And if the market is stable? Your home will just sit. Buyers pay in today's dollars, and time is rarely on your side.

Leave some room for negotiation, but don't overreach: No seller wants to feel he left money on the table, and no buyer wants to overpay. Your price should give both parties room to maneuver, but if it is too high, you risk being perceived as unrealistic, and buyers will pass over your home.

Think like a buyer. What are the things that you value in a home? Is it a large yard, an updated kitchen or a view? These are likely the same things that your buyer values as well. Talk to your agent about current buyer trends. Yesterday's avocado green shag carpeting is today's granite countertop. The property facing the interstate is going to be a tougher sell than the one with a mountain view. Your price should reflect how your home compares to the others offered for sale. Buyers will find objections to any home, as none is perfect, but it is curious how quickly objections disappear when the price is compelling.

React swiftly and decisively. If your home is on the market and is not being shown or if you receive feedback that you are priced too aggressively, don't hesitate to adjust your price. Bad news, like spoiled milk, doesn't get better with time. Full Article

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Selling: Everything You Need to Know

Selling your home can be a daunting process. The questions never seem to end. With such a plethora of questions, it's easy to feel overwhelmed, but MySecretAgent's guides are designed to take you through the process step-by-step.

How do you set a price?
No matter how attractive and polished your house is, buyers will be comparing its price with everything else on the market. Your best guide is a record of what the buying public has been willing to pay in the past few months for properties in your neighborhood like yours. MySecretAgent will create a CMA for you to determine what the best listing price is. 

What comps do you look at? 
Make sure to compare homes in the same area you are listed. Take homes with about the same square footage, year built, etc. MySecretAgent can help you determine what comps to look at when setting a listing price. 

How do you find a real estate agent to work with? (Or should you try selling by yourself?) 
Sell yourself. Our motto is "Sell With Help Keep the Commission". Listing with MySecretAgent gives you the best of both worlds. You get to list with getting the Internet exposure you would with a traditional agent while getting to save on average of $12,000. Ask us how much you can save.

How will you (and your agent) market your home? 
With MySecretAgent we market your home on hundreds of websites. We also provide you with a sign and flyers. 

What about the agent's commission? 
As a seller it is recommended to offer the traditional commission of 3% to the buyer's agent. You will save the 3% on listing side as we only take a one time flat fee. See how much you can save

Monday, April 1, 2013

Home Prices: Biggest Rise Since Housing Bubble

Home prices continued their recovery, rising 8.1% in January, although a separate report showed a slight slowdown in new-home sales. The S&P Case-Shiller index, which tracks the 20 largest markets in the nation, showed the biggest year-over-year gain in prices since June 2006. “This marks the highest increase since the housing bubble burst,” said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. The Case-Shiller report shows the recovery in home prices is widespread. All 20 markets posted a year-over-year gain, and the pace of increase picked up in every market except Detroit. Some of the markets hurt the most by the bursting of the housing bubble have enjoyed the biggest gains, led by a 23% rise in Phoenix. Prices were also up more than 10% in San Francisco, Las Vegas, Detroit, Atlanta, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Miami, all markets that had been hit hard by foreclosures. Full Article